Pfizer vaccine data offer hope for a return to normalcy

Credit Dado Ruvic/Reuters
Credit Dado Ruvic/Reuters
[A]dvisors to the US Food and Drug Administration voted in favor of emergency authorization for Pfizer’s covid-19 shot, and the data in this chart is a big reason why.

The graphic (below), released by Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, shows the difference in covid-19 infection rates between the people in their trial who got a novel gene vaccine and those who got a placebo.

The volunteers who were given a placebo shot appear as the blue line. The ones who got a vaccine are in red. Each time either line jumps up, that’s when a new covid-19 case occurred.

What the data shows is that during the first week after getting their shots, both groups of people kept getting covid-19 at about the same rate. But after that, the lines start to separate. And they just keep separating and separating.

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That’s the result of the vaccine taking effect, which usually takes a few days and gets boosted by a second dose. After two weeks, hardly anyone with the vaccine was getting covid-19. But the disease kept striking those who got the placebo with clockwork regularity.

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This is what the researchers have been working toward all year. And the data in this graphic leaves no room for rumors, politics, or uninformed commentary. It’s as plain as day: this vaccine is one of the best we’ve ever seen.

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